Friday, April 8, 2011

Bodegas: Hood Health Food Stores

Bodega may refer to:
The average urban citizen of color in the United States must travel 10 miles to locate a decent grocery store. And in the case of living in Detroit, you must travel to another county, and perhaps Ohio, because the last grocery store chain left several years ago.

The absence of a regular supply of fresh produce and wholistic food options in urban areas have been replaced with bodegas. On the East Coast, they are bodegas, but where I'm from, Los Angeles, they are called mini-marts; but both offer the same thing---killer food at killer prices.

Bodegas provide millions of satisfied customers with quarter waters, five-day old baloney, teeth-rottening cakes and old, mushy bananas. And of course, an ample supply of gut-acid like beers and wines.

And in return, these "stores" have churned out children, who are now adults, who don't drink water that isn't flavored or colored, classify corn, rice and veggie Ramen noodles as healthy vegetables, become fixated at about 3 PM when they haven't had their fix of fried chicken wings and cringe in disgust when salad is the only side option.

What is it about a bodega that makes people continue to patronize? The frequent community meetings around the lottery ticket register? The alternative elevator musaq blasting Salsa, Buchetta sounds? The pickled eggs in the big jars? The nice smell of body order, mono-saturated Chinese food and stale food that greets you at the door? Or perhaps the ATM machines that charge you $5 to use?

According the investigative detectives in the video below, it is access and economy. You be the judge? I'm still SMH.

1 ish talking intellectuals holla at a sista:

Reggie said...

I've got much love for the bodega. Sure you're eating crap, but it's cheap!!!

My wife is from Detroit, I've got a boatload of family there as well. Ten years ago there were plenty of grocery stores in the "D". Now....they went the way of the dodo.